West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to miss start of the season due to knee injury

West Ham United's Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between West
Image: West Ham will be without midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for the start of the new season

West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate will miss the start of the new Premier League season after suffering a "freak" knee injury.

The 27-year-old sustained the problem during the Hammers' pre-season training camp in Austria and did not feature in their goalless draw with Sturm Graz II on Monday.

Manager Slaven Bilic revealed that Kouyate would not require surgery on the injury, but will miss their opening three matches against Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle.

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"It is a big shame that Cheikhou got injured in one of our early training sessions and it was out of nothing," Bilic told the Daily Mirror.

"He did his knee and he is going to miss the first few games of the season. It was a freak injury and it is a blow for us.

"He doesn't need surgery and the injury is not a bad one, but he needs rehab now."

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Kouyate made 36 appearances in all competitions for West Ham last season, scoring four times.

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